Ad-hoc release in compliance with stock exchange regulations
Flamatt, Switzerland – February 10, 2020
Fiscal year 2019
- Sales of CHF 371.6 million and EBITDA margin of 10.8% exceed expectations
- Net income of CHF 12.0 million in line with prior year
- Order backlog up 20% year over year
- Dividend proposal of CHF 1.00 per share
- Continuing demand growth expected in semiconductor segment
- Execution of the focus strategy and implementation of the Boost program to raise sales and efficiency are in high gear
Comet closed a demanding year 2019 with results that beat expectations. While the first three quarters were defined especially by the slowdown in the semiconductor market, demand rallied markedly in the fourth quarter. Comet was able to ramp up capacity again swiftly and serve the increased demand for plasma control modules for the fabrication of microchips. For the full year, the Group generated consolidated net sales of CHF 371.6 million, which was above the expected range of CHF 350-370 million (prior year: CHF 436.4 million).
Substantial cost savings realized by Comet, coupled with the improved capacity utilization and the absence of the previous year’s one-time costs, were positive for profitability. The EBITDA margin increased from 9.8% in the *prior year to 10.8% and thus significantly surpassed the expected range of 7.0% to 8.5%. At the same time, Comet kept up investment in forward-looking projects. Net income, at CHF 12.0 million, was in line with the prior year (CHF 12.3 million) and free cash flow grew to CHF 30.1 million (prior year: CHF 0.8 million).
Comet is on track with its focus strategy and will continue to drive forward the implementation of the Boost improvement initiatives. While the geopolitical developments and the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic remain difficult to predict, the signals from customers in the semiconductor market, combined with a high order backlog, point to an improvement for the current new fiscal year.
At the Annual Shareholder Meeting on April 23, 2020, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 1.00 per share (2019: CHF 1.20). This represents a dividend of 65% of the Group’s net income (2019: 75%).
Publication of the annual report
The audited 2019 consolidated financial statements of the Comet Group will be published on March 19, 2020 and presented in detail on the same day at the media and analyst conference in Zurich. In addition, a conference call in English will be held.
*2018 figures have been restated according to IFRS 16
March 19, 2020
Publication of full-year results
April 23, 2020
Annual Shareholder Meeting
August 13, 2020
Publication of half-year results
The Comet Group
The Comet Group is a globally leading, innovative technology company based in Switzerland with a focus on plasma control and x-ray technology. With premium high-tech components and systems, we enable our customers to both enhance the quality of their products and make their manufacturing more efficient and eco-friendly. Our innovative solutions are in demand in the semiconductor market, the aerospace and automobile industry and in security inspection. Headquartered in Flamatt, Switzerland, the Comet Group has a presence in all world markets. We employ more than 1,300 people worldwide, including about 500 in Switzerland. Besides production facilities in China, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and the USA, we maintain various other subsidiaries in the USA, China, Japan and Korea. Comet (COTN) is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.